Step-by-Step How to Replace a Cue Tip Like a Pro

  • By: Rob
  • Date: May 12, 2022
  • Time to read: 9 min.
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So you probably have a new pool cue tip and cant wait to get started using it. All that is needed now is to learn how to replace a cue tip. It may seem like a complicated process but I promise you it’s anything but complicated.

The whole process will take about 15 – 20 minutes for the first time. Just make sure you have everything you need to install a new cue tip. 

Before I go through my step-by-step process on how to replace a cue tip, I felt it might be useful for you to know when a cue tip should be replaced.

how to replace a cue tip

Some tips, like Tiger Everest, have an indicator when they need to be replaced, but most tips aren’t that advanced so you’ll need to spot some warning signs when to replace the tip.

It’s worth noting that to install a Kamui tip, the process is a little different. If you have one of them, the Kamui website has a good installation guide on it.

When should I replace my cue tip

I wrote an in-depth article answering this question and handy cue tip maintenance tips so I won’t go into too much detail here, but you can check out that article on how long does a cue tip last to get a more detailed answer.

But if you just want a quick answer then it really depends on how much you use the tip and the type of tip it is. If you use it rarely then obviously it will last longer than if you are an avid pool player. 

The general rule with cue tips is they last about 6 months of consistent use before they need to be replaced. 

That being said, harder tips should last longer as they are more durable. Softer tips will require more care and maintenance and will have a shorter lifespan. 

Usage over time will slowly wear away at the cue tip, when the tip has worn down too much, about 1mm from the ferrule then that’s a good indicator when you should replace your cue tip.

If you just need to know how to replace a cue tip then you probably already have one ready to install, in which case, feel free to skip to my step-by-step guide HERE

But if you are considering which cue tip to install on your pool cue then I highly recommend you check out my best cue tips on the market, I list what I consider to be the best cue tips available; definitely worth checking out if you’re interested. 

Sometimes even knowing what is the best cue tip for your playstyle is a difficult question. There are so many tips to choose from, different styles, different hardnesses, different materials and they all are good for different purposes. 

So, you are a little confused on all the different types of cue tips and how to choose the best cue tip for your playstyle, then I highly recommend you check out my article all about pool cuesin it, I have a few sections detailing all about the different types of cue tips. I explain about layered and non-layered tips as well as the different hardness and how they affect your game; I think it should help you if you are a little unsure. 

Learn More…
There are a few billy big timers in the cue tip world, two such giants are Kamui and Tiger. Both great tips but which one do you pick? Take a look at my comparison between Tiger Everest tip and Kamui clear black tip 

For extra reference, check out this video guide on how to change a cue tip.

For additional reference, below is the list of things you’ll need as well as my step-by-step process to help guide you through how to replace pool cue tip.

How to replace a cue tip

The process of replacing cue tips is easy and straightforward, with suitable tools, you should take about 15 minutes to remove your old cue tip and install a new one. 

With more practice, the faster this process will be.

If you become a regular pool player then its important to know how to replace a cue tip without needing the help of a professional. 

Professional installation will cost a few bucks. Save that money and buy a better cue tip.

Let’s take a look at what you will need when replacing a pool cue tip:

how to fix a pool cue tip

Now you know what you need, let’s get started knowing the steps for a DIY cue tip replacement. 

Simply follow these 9 steps on how to change pool cue tip:

Step 1: Remove old cue tip

In order to replace cue tip, you’ll need to remove the old one first. 

Using a sharp cutting tool, such as a razor, carefully cut out the old tip. Be sure to remove all of the old tip and excess glue from the ferrule.

Be careful when removing the excess glue and old cue tip, make sure  NOT to slice the ferrule as this may make it difficult for the new tip to stay attached.   

 Step 2: Remove and excess from the ferrule

Lightly sand the top of the ferrule using 60-80 grit sandpaper. This is to ensure there is a smooth surface for the new tip to sit upon. 

If you have any masking take, tape around the ferrule. Making sure the top of the ferrule is flush with the top of the tape (This is to protect the ferrule from any excess glue)

Step 3: Glue new tip

Now you have a clean and smooth top later of your ferrule, it’s now time to install your new pool cue tip on your stick.

I would recommend using a cue tip that is either the same size or slightly larger than the top of your pool cue shaft. 

If the diameter of the cue tip is slightly larger than the diameter of your cues’ shaft then you can simply cut the tip to fit once the glue has set. 

It’s common to buy American pool cue tips with a diameter of 13mm or 14mm

In my best glue guide for cue tips, I recommend Tiger glue (Amazon link) but if you have a good superglue or gel-based glue that should be ok too. Put a small drop on the correct side of your new cue tip and a small drop on the top of the ferrule.

Step 4: Firmly secure tip to the ferrule

Firmly place the cue tip onto the surface of the ferrule making sure it sits in the center of the ferrule. 

Keep a firm press on the tip for 5-10 minutes.

The best way to do this is by using a tip clamp (This is an ideal one, on amazon) to firmly hold the tip in place until the glue sets

While pressing, keep the tip in its place.

Step 5: Ensure tip is secure

Check that the cue tip is firmly secure onto the ferrule. Gently test the cue tip between your fingers, take note if its securely glued or not. If you feel some movement then you will need to start back at step 1, try adding a little more glue, and more firmly holding it in place for longer. 

Step 6: Remove masking tape

Remove the masking take from the ferrule and wipe away any extra glue left behind.

Step 7: Trim edges of the cue tip

Now you have a brand new cue tip firmly glued onto your stick – congratulations!

Time for some trimming to round it off a little and make it fit better to the shaft diameter.

Place the cue with its cue tip touching the floor, so the cue is “upside-down” this is to make it easier to trim the tip.

Using a razor blade, carefully and slowly cue and remove the sides of the cue tip. Don’t remove too much at once.

The end result is having the sides of the cue tip flush with the sides of the ferrule – as you would expect from a pool cue.

Use the ferrule to help guide you where the cue tip should be trimmed. 

Slowly, cut away the leather from the tip, continue this until the tip has the same diameter as the ferrule. 

Once complete, using your low grit sandpaper, make sure the cue tip and ferrule are flush to each other. Be careful not to sand the ferrule if possible.  

Step 8: Round off the cue tip

Now the tip is starting to come together, its time to round it off a little. Maybe you have a handy tip tool (Amazon link) like this one on Amazon to help you out here, if not you can use the sandpaper to shape it into your preferred shape. 

The circumference of a dime or nickel are common shapes you’ll see for pool cue tips.

Step 9: Final touches

Nearly ready to start shooting!  Put a dab of water onto your fingers, not too much at all. And feel the sides of the tip – this just adds a tiny bit of moisture to the sides.

Once complete, using a piece of leather, burnish the sides of your tip.

 And that’s it! You now know how to replace a tip on pool cue and are ready to take on the world with your new fancy pool cue tip! 

What are good pool cue tip replacement tools

There are a few good pool cue tip replacement tools on the market that makes the whole process of replacing a cue tip much easier, a couple of the tools are:

The Tweeten Deluxe Cue Tip Repair Kit (Amazon link) is an all-in-one kit that includes a variety of replacement tools, including cue tips, a cue tip clamp, a tip scuffer, and more.

Another tool you can use is a simple tip clamp (Amazon link), for binding the tip to the ferrule once it’s glued. This is a cheap but super handy tool to have. There is also a tip clamp in the tweeten deluxe cue tip repair kit.

How much does it cost to replace a pool cue tip

It typically costs around $5 to replace a pool cue tip. However, the cost may vary depending on the type of cue tip and the materials used. If you don’t want a professional, you can easily replace a pool cue tip following my guide in this article for free.

The cost of the tip itself will be the biggest cost with the cue tip repair tool-making up a small amount. Pool cue tips range from a few dollars to over $30. So, if you have a quality cue, don’t skimp on the tip. There are many types of tips to choose from so finding one that fits your playing style and cues ball control.

Now you know know how to replace a cue tip there is no need to pay a professional any more!

How do you put a slip-on pool cue tip on

Slip-on pool cue tips are cheap and easy to install. They are not as good as regular leather tips but they are ideal on cheaper cues or even house cues.

What’s great about slip-on cue tips is that no gluing or clamping is needed, you simply slip the slip-on pool cue tip over the ferrule.

It’s quick, simple, and easy.

Final thoughts

Having a fresh new tip, shaped correctly can have a big difference in your game and the amount of control you have with the cue ball. It’s important to look for the signs when a new tip is needed and act upon it. 

As I said before, getting a professional to install your cue tip can be expensive, especially if you play a lot. Now you know how to replace a pool cue tip there should be no need to pay for a professional installation again. 

Pool stick tip replacement complete – Happy shooting!